2014 Audi A8L TDI: Track Tested
Testing Audi's Torquey Flagship
Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Edmunds Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.
Luxury cars beg for torque. The effortless swell of torque that properly propels a real luxury car has, traditionally, been achieved via huge-displacement V8s, often with forced induction.
But that formula is starting to fall apart. EPA regulations, eco concerns and the growing desire to appear to be doing good are combining to push big motors to the fringes of our automotive culture. So what's a real luxury car to do?
Producing a whopping 406 pound-feet of torque out of only 3.0 liters of displacement, the 2014 Audi A8L TDI should have what it takes to satisfy full-size sedan buyers. We know that with a 23.8-gallon fuel tank and a 36-mpg highway fuel economy rating, the Audi A8L TDI has what it takes to get you anywhere, but with only 240 horsepower pushing 4,564 pounds, will it get you there quickly? We took it to the track to find out.
Vehicle: 2014 Audi A8L TDI
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $83,395 (base)
Drive Type: Front engine, all-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Eight-speed automatic
Engine Type: Turbocharged, six-cylinder diesel
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,967/181
Redline (rpm): 4,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 240 @ 3,550
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 406 @ 1,750
Brake Type (front): Ventilated discs with six-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): Ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 265/40R20 104Y
Tire Size (rear): 265/40R20 104Y
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Eagle F1
Tire Type: Asymmetrical summer performance
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,564
0-30 (sec): 2.1 (2.6 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 3.9 (4.7 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 6.3 (7.3 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.1 (6.9 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 10.0 (10.7 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 14.7 @ 91.2 (15.3 @ 90.2 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 109
Slalom (mph): 64.8 (65.7 w/ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.85 (0.84 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 1,400
Acceleration: Any doubt the TDI version of the 2014 Audi A8L would be "sufficiently" powerful was erased in 2 seconds. Monstrous torque picks the nose of the car up and upshifts barely lessen the effect. There's a slight power dip at the top of each gear, but hardly. After accessing the super-quick shift program, it dropped a full second from the 0-60 time (shifts were noticeably quicker and a little harsh). Pretty neat feat of engineering here, but I really had little doubt that Audi hit the bull's-eye with the execution of its flagship sedan, diesel or otherwise.
Braking: Brakes match the astonishing nature of the engine. Shortest stop was the fourth of five and it felt as if the A8L would match this short distance all day long. Straight, steady, firm pedal and zero fade or drama. Very good brakes.
Slalom: Again, the abilities of this diesel limousine are amazing. There's more grip and agility here than most would ever imagine. Unlike previous A8Ls, however, I found a little more speed in "Auto" rather than "Dynamic" settings. While it still proved faster than previous A8Ls in Dynamic mode, it felt stiff and twitchy. Found even more pace in the more compliant Auto mode.
Skid pad: Here, the stiffer-legged Dynamic mode paid dividends, but just barely. ESC allows a modest slip angle that can be maintained, easily choosing between under- and oversteer with the throttle. Superb balance and control. In both tests and in both modes, I found the steering weight and response completely well suited to the car, making it drive "smaller" than it is.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.